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I needed money for my father’s drugs—Illegal bunkerer

I needed money for my father’s drugs—Illegal bunkerer

By Chioma Onuegbu

Uyo—One of the suspects arrested by the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Jubilee Ikot Abasi, Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, with a vehicle loaded with illegally-refined petroleum products, said he went into the business to raise money to buy drugs for his sick father.

His accomplice said he joined in the illicit business because he needed money to attend a church programme at Abak.

Anthony Usoro, 40 and Uyobong Emmanuel, 34, spoke with Vanguard when NNS Jubilee handed them over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC.

They were allegedly arrested while conveying the products from Port Harcourt in Rivers State to Akwa Ibom State.

NSS Jubilee

Handing the suspects over to the NSCDC yesterday, Saidu Garba, Commander of NNS Jubilee Ikot Abasi, who was represented by Commander Murtala Yunusa, said Usoro and Emmanuel were arrested last Sunday by Op Thunder along Oruk Anam axis of Aqua Ibom State, with 20 cellophane bags of products suspected to be illegally refined diesel.

He said: “The cellophane bags were stacked in the booth of a black Honda Legend salon car with number plates DB 724 PH and covered with cartons of noodles. The Nigerian Navy recognises the jurisdiction and constitutional role of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

“Therefore, I request you to take over the accused persons and the vehicle loaded with 20 cellophane bags of the product suspected to be illegally refined diesel for further investigation and prosecution.

“The tempo will continue until we rid our society of this illegality.”

I’m a taxi driver—Suspect

In their defence, the suspects admitted to committing the crime though they said it was their first time in the illegal business.

Uyobong Emmanuel said: “I am a taxi driver for somebody in Port Harcourt. I was supposed to go for a church programme at Abak in Akwa Ibom, but I did not have any money in my pocket.

“So I said let me use the opportunity to do this business so that I can have little money that will help me go for the church programme.

“I met with my friend Anthony, who was also looking for money to go and see his sick father. Both of us agreed to do the business together and share the profit. We even bought the product on credit to repay after sales.”

Similarly, Anthony Usoro, a native of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, said he decided to do the business because he needed money to buy drugs for his sick father, who had called form the village complaining about his ailment.

His words: “I went into the business because when I came to see my sick dad, he (Emmanuel) approached me to join him on this trip. I agreed and we had an agreement that we will share the profit equally.

“I know Emmanuel very well as a friend and taxi driver, but not as a dealer in this business. So this is the first time both of us are doing this.

“I am a driver to a lawyer in Port Harcourt and he owned the car that we were arrested with but he doesn’t know I used his vehicle to do this business. He does not even know that I am here.”

Taking over the suspects, the NSCDC, represented by Inspector Abel Ojimba, thanked the Nigerian Navy for partnering with them and for their effort.

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